Surrounded by soft white sandy coastline and pristine sea with pockets of enchanting forest, soft rolling heath land and picturesque lakes throughout, Denmark offers the perfect backdrop to a memorable camping or caravanning holiday with an excellent range of facilities to suit all tastes and budgets.
With more than 500 approved campsites and 850 nature campsites scattered throughout the countryside, there is no doubt that the Danes love to camp.
Classified by the Danish Camping Board (www.danskecampingpladser.dk) to ensure that they have met certain requirements, approved campsites are awarded 1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars for the most deluxe and 1 for the more basic. With 5 star properties offering everything from bouncy castles and crazy golf to aqua parks and swimming pools, all 3-star rated and above sites also guarantee a comprehensive programme of activities for children so that young ones can go for a pony trek, learn how to fly a kite or enjoy a game of footie with their newly found friends.
For those who enjoy the essence of camping – nature on the doorstep, pristine surrounds and the promise of some fireside camaraderie – but prefer more solid surrounds, many of the camping sites also offer the option of renting a caravan or, even better, staying in the choice of over 3,000 cabins and well-appointed campsite cottages.
For a top 5 star experience, happy campers can’t go past the Hvidbjerg Strand Feriepark (www.hvidbjerg.dk). Located on one of the most beautiful beaches on the West Jutland coast, its facilities for children are outstanding with an indoor tropical water park featuring a lowered aquarium where you can swim with the fish all year round, an eerie ‘Black Hole’ water slide with light and sound effects and the enthralling underground cave; Wild West Indian Camp with tepees, war paint and needlework; and a stable with horse-riding tours to suit all ages. With four styles of well-appointed cottage sleeping up to six people, non-campers can ‘camp’ rest assured with all the home comforts.
Denmark’s ‘garden isle’ of Funen, so called for it’s abundance of orchards and enchanting pastoral scenery with old thatched cottages and beautiful castles, also offers rich pickings with four 5 star properties. All with superb coastal settings and an easy drive to Odense – the fairy tale city where Hans Christian Andersen was born, choose from the ‘Superplatz’ awarded Camp Hverringe (www.camphverringe.dk) – one of the top camping grounds in Europe; Bøsøre Strand Camping (www.bosore.dk) with its ‘Tinderbox’ inspired playground centred around a 200 year old manor house and farm buildings; Bogense Strand Camping (www.bogensecamp.dk) just a five minute walk from the charming market town of Bogense with its old houses, merchants’ villas, beautiful town square and bustling marina; or Bøjden Strand Feriepark (www.bojden.dk) with the enviable position on Funen’s best beach. (www.visitfyn.com)
For equally sensational sand and sea, head to the Djursland coast, which is dotted with excellent campsites. Pitch your tent directly by the beach at the 4 star Grenaa Strand Camping and enjoy miles of beautiful ‘blue flag’ beach and pristine safe water. Recently voted Jutland’s best beach, it is also conveniently close to numerous local attractions such the deep-sea fish museum Kattegatcentret, Ebeltoft Zoo, Scandinavian Animalpark, the Frigate Jylland and Djurs Sommerland. (www.visitdjursland.com)
Or head to North Jutland with its deluxe Jambo Feriepark (www.jambo.dk) and TopCamp Kattegat Strand (www.kattegatstrandcamping.dk) 5 star camps or opt for one of the other 92 sites in the region. Ranging from tranquil camps tucked away on the beautiful shores of the Limfjord (www.vildsund.dk-camp.dk), woodland sites bordering the enchanting forest of the Rold and Ribild Hills (www.safari.dk-camp.dk) to the country’s most northern camping spot at Grenen where the two seas meet (www.grenencamping.dk), campers will be naturally spoilt for choice no matter what the rating. (www.visitnordjylland.dk)
For city lights with campside fire nights, camping and caravan sites are also found close to most of the main cities. There are also good sites next to a number of key attractions, such as the Billund FDM Camping ground (www.billundcamping.dk), which is less than 500 metres from the original Legoland and very popular Lalandia Waterpark making it an easy way of splashing out whist keeping down the cost of accommodation.
And for those who are prepared to do without modern conveniences and prefer a more ‘at one with nature’ experience, then one of Denmark’s many Nature Camp Sites might be the way to go (www.teltpladser.dk). Popular with hikers and cyclists, as they do not allow cars, caravans, mobile homes, motor cycles or mopeds onto the sites, they are a very tranquil and cost effective way of enjoying the country with many being free or costing a mere £2,50 (DKK 20)/night including access to a toilet and running water.
Island-Camps or “Ø-Lejr” are also popular with Danish families. The camps are mostly situated on small islands, some of which have no roads and traffic. Groups often get together and stay in tents and cook meals around an open fire. There are several activities at each camp and usually with pre-arranged themes from canoeing in kayaks to music and dance.
Appreciating that you can enjoy camping no matter what the season, more than 170 of the approved sites are also open all year round.
Finding a Site
The Danish Camping Board has a very informative website with the facility to search for sites throughout the country and then book directly (www.danskecampingpladser.dk). Approved campsites start from as little as £18 per day based on a family of two adults and two children camping.
The guide to the Nature Camp Sites is called “Overnatning i det fri”, which means Overnight in the Open, and can be purchased from most book sellers, tourist offices and the Dansk Cyklist Forbund www.dcf.dk).
The UK is well served by both ferry and air to Denmark, with DFDS Seaways (www.dfds.co.uk) offering a regular ferry service with departures every other day between Harwich and Esbjerg, in West Jutland, from June to September and crossings three times a week between October and May. Prices start from only £249 one way for a family of four in a sea view cabin, including carriage of a car. Passengers simply drive on board and can then enjoy quality cuisine, live entertainment, kids club and other facilities for the crossing, which is overnight. Caravans travel free from on selected dates, although you must book a month in advance. Visit www.dfds.co.uk for further details or call 0871 882 0886.